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Dave talks to Melissa Oothout, of Weston Nurseries, about using pansies to get a burst of color in early spring.
Tags:how to grow pansies,How to add color to your garden,Dave Epstein,growing wisdom,johnny jump-up,melissa oothout,Organic Gardening,pansies,viola cornuta,viola wittrockiana,Weston Nurseries
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Dave Epstein: Hi I'm Dave Epstein. This is Growing Wisdom early spring. We’re here with Melissa Oothout and we are in front of one of my favorite annuals, pansies. Tell me a little about how to keep these guys going. People always say they buy them and they don’t keep going and also I’d love to know some of your favorite colors.
Melissa Oothout: Well they poop out if you don’t keep dead head in them. You are a removing a spent flower to encourage a new one to come up.
Dave Epstein: There’s a little stem them Melissa, do you go halfway or all the way to the base?
Melissa Oothout: I go all the way to the base for aesthetics it will continue to boom if you were just to do it right halfway down. But it looks nicer to go all the way down to the plant, I think.
Dave Epstein: And what about sun and water and all that good stuff?
Melissa Oothout: Sun they like a little bit of sun but not direct full sun. If they were in a full sun they probably would burn. The little Johnny jump up the perennials is more forgiving in all light situations.
Dave Epstein: So there are actually two different types of pansies here?
Melissa Oothout: Yes. We have the old fashioned pansy and then the little Johnny jump ups the viola which comes up every year and they're almost invasive they spread very quickly.
Dave Epstein: These are edible as well right?
Melissa Oothout: They are edible. They make great little decorations for cakes and salads, they're a little peppery.
Dave Epstein: What do you advice people to do with color?
Melissa Oothout: I advise people to mix it up each year. I think that if you change it every year it’s more exciting and it’s very easy to do.
Dave Epstein: Can you hang these?
Melissa Oothout: You can definitely hang these. You can do them in a pot like this and then a lot of the growers also do this called the belden hanger and they have a lot of little holes where it falls out more.
Dave Epstein: So in terms of annual color, you think this is probably the best early way to go?
Melissa Oothout: I definitely think so. Putting them in with your bulbs you little muscari, your hyacinths, your tulips that will be coming out in about a couple of weeks. I definitely think it would add nice texture and color.
In sync gratification, pop the entire tray and group them closely I think to get more of the bang.
Dave Epstein: So early spring you want the color, winter is done, pansies are great way to get it going. Melissa I appreciate your time, thanks for showing us how to keep these guys going. Remember keep pinching them back they’ll flower for you right through spring and into summer. Comeback every week for all of our tips here at Growing Wisdom.